by: Shiryu

            Tina watches from the window as the sun silently looms on the horizon, first nothing but a sliver of light, like a silver needle, and gradually becoming a beautiful, dangerous white, blinding and scorching. Her hands rest on the windowsill, her head shadowed by the curtains. She sits, fidgeting, idly bouncing one leg, ignoring the pain of the sun burning her flesh, turning her skin into flakes of ash. Even in death, she cannot be still, always has to be moving.


            (She misses the sun and its warmth – they all do, but she more than them. She can barely remember a time when its touch was gentle and not fatal. Khue has muttered half-heartedly that though she admires Tina’s stubbornness, a vampire missing the sun was a foolish notion, as she wrapped her friend’s wrists and hands in layers of gauze. But Tina has seen the strips of gauze under her sleeves and gloves as well, however the other girl has tried to hide them. She says nothing, and only smiles sadly when she sees the flash of white. )


            Sonya sits down behind Tina, watching as the light dances across the hardwood floors, washing them in beautiful but fatal light. Tina turns, and two pairs of eyes that were once hazel and brown and life respectively are now green and silver. Sonya holds out a baggy of chocolate chip cookies, offering silently. Tina hesitates for only a second before lightly taking a cookie from the bag, whispering her thanks. Sonya grins slightly before nibbling on the treat, and they both return to watching the sun.


            (Sonya mourns the loss of taste; she can’t remember the simpler pleasures of sugar, and only blood sates their thirst. Nick jokes that Tina still counts the calories in an IV of blood. They all laugh, but now the laughter is forced, expected. They haven’t actually laughed in what seems like forever, when it’s only been fifteen years.)


            It seems like hours have gone by when they suddenly notice that Nick is standing behind them, silent, unmoving, eyes closed.


            (Nick doesn’t watch the sun; he hates chasing after things that can never be, and he hasn’t done so in fifteen years. He doesn’t say anything to the others, though – the sun is one of the constant things in their lives, however life-threatening, and though he never voices it, he is thankful for the fact that it can potentially kill them; he almost feels human, knowing that their time isn’t necessarily unending.)


            He opens his black eyes, as unreadable now as they were in life. Sonya holds out the bag to him, but he shakes his head, turning down the offer. Moments go by before they hear one of the windows upstairs slam; Khue is finally back from her night ventures, and sure enough, she appears at the top of the steps, and walks down silently to join them.


            (Tina scolds her for tempting death by not coming home before the sun rises. But she knows it’s all for naught, and Khue does this daily, almost always earning herself new burns. Sonya knows why Khue stays out; the dance with the devil makes her cold blood run hot again, and Nick has joined her more than enough times to know what beating the sun feels like. It is daring, stupid, reckless, but she loves it all the same.)


            Sighing, Nick vanishes into the basement to use the video game console, and Sonya dashes upstairs to her room to draw. Tina remains in her chair beside the window, head nodding to the beat. Khue paces, book in hand, curiously gold eyes scanning the pages.


            (Sonya accuses Nick of being a high-tech vampire, and he prides himself on his reflexes, eyes and hands faster than ever – although, he’s broken enough controllers to remind him of his now monstrous strength. Sonya’s drawings nearly come to life off of the page, the sketches vivid and dark. Tina still loves AFI – Nick has started calling her and Khue “Silver and Cold”, a pun on the two girls' eye colors. Tina doesn’t miss a beat now, as she asks Nick whether his senses have failed. Her mental sharpness has only increased with the passing years, as has Nick’s wit. That’s when Sonya allows herself another half-smile and Khue glares at them over her book, a grin pulling at her mouth, and it suddenly feels normal again.)


            It’s boring, stupid, perhaps, but it’s normal for them. Mentally twenty-eight and physically twelve and thirteen, it’s all they can do, to sit, wait, and watch for the shadows to return. It’s all they can do.


            (It’s their little joke when Khue wryly notes that they’re crazy for doing this over and over again, when they all know that they can hardly be called sane now. So they wait for tomorrow, when the night begins anew. But everyday is nothing but a passing moment to them – for they are the ones who have forever.)